Millennium Post

Plan panel eyes 10% reduction in poverty

The Planning Commission is proposing a target of reducing poverty by 10 per cent to less than 20 per cent of the population by 2017 – the terminal year of the 12th Five-Year Plan.

The Commission had set a similar target during the 11th Five Year Plan [2007-12] and is likely retain it for the current five-year plan as well.

‘I believe that we will certainly target substantial reduction. We need a little more work to get to that. Last time [for 11th Plan], we had said 10 per cent. I think 10 per cent is a pretty good target which would mean two per cent decline every year during the 12th Plan period,’ Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said on Friday. The Commission earlier drew flak for pegging poverty line at Rs 28.65 per capita daily consumption in cities. It was Rs 22.42 in rural areas. It had pegged the poverty ratio at 29.8 per cent in 2009-10, down from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05, based on the Tendulkar Committee methodology.

As per the data, the rate of poverty reduction between 2004-05 to 2009-10 was 1.5 per cent every year whereas it was 0.7 per cent between 1993-94 to 2004-05.

Later, the Commission had admitted there was discrepancy in NSSO data and national accounts which led to fixing such a poverty criteria.

In May this year, the Commission constituted an expert group headed by noted economist C Rangarajan to review the Tendulkar Committee methodology for estimating poverty.
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